Thursday, October 29

Loyalty And Tribalism

P.S. to "A Productive Conversation With Mom":

How the heck did Mom raise me w/ little to no sense of tribe loyalty?

I dunno, maybe she lost some, but not all, of hers when she strove to break out of lower-middle-class living and shot for upper-middle/upper-class living. Maybe she lost the economic part that got in the way but not the non-economic part that didn't.

But she really didn't pass that non-economic part on to me. Family, nationalism, nothin'. At the moment, I just don't really feel it as a good in the pit of my heart.

I wonder.

(Though maybe I'll get the "family" part down with work. Emotions can be instilled by repeated behavior, even as an adult.)

A Productive Conversation With Mom

I think I'm getting better at talking to Mom.

(Socio)Politics came up. And I slipped and spoke my mind a little too much.

But I must've done it better than before, because the infuriating things she said about Arabs were ridiculous. I seriously had trouble controlling my laughter.

I think it's partly that I was polite-ish enough that she had to stretch to an absolutely ridiculous context if she was going to manage to squeeze an "I despise most Arabs (and the fact that you don't makes you a less good person than me)" kind of comment into our (socio)political discussion.

And I think it's partly that I was focused enough on being polite-ish that I was in a frame of mind to fully see how ridiculous her stretches chances to say those kinds of things were.

This may not be the best mother-daughter relationship on the planet, but I think it's a good step from where we were a few months ago to where I want to be in 5+ years.

Overall (aside from talking about money or sociopolitics), it was a good conversation. Crud's been happening to her, and I think I gave her a loving ear to talk to and a loving voice to hear.

Wednesday, October 28

Temptations To Profit

Sometimes I just want to take the economic analysis I've been blessed enough to see blogging and try to use it to get a bigger piece of the pie than the median piece.

I've been telling my mom not to bother w/ stocks/mutual funds as soon as she can cash out again like she could've before the late 2008 crash.

When I've told her that I'm thinking I might not rely on them as a 50-year plan for having emergency/retirement funds, to the extent that I've felt comfortable doing so, I've even told her that I feel that way because I see signs that the "top 0.1%" aren't relying on it anymore, so it's probably not that good an idea.

I'm not comfortable sharing this all the time, because of course it leads to, "So what are the 'top 0.1%' buying to make money off over the next 50 years?"

I have suspicions about that from the reading I do. But I don't want to share it w/ her. Because I think that most of the things they're buying for that purpose are morally wrong to buy (especially for that purpose). And I don't to contribute towards one more human being doing such morally wrong things.

But sometimes I wish I could just say, "Here's what they're doing--and here's the liberal upper-middle-class greenwashed / nostalgiawashed equivalent we could pool our money on and that might keep us at our current lifelong levels of consumption / get us further ahead of the median over the next 50 years--especially if the 'top 0.1%' succeed at buying and profiting on all this."

I guess it's good that I suppress those feelings, meditate on desiring to make the Knower Of True Good proud of me rather than those who love me closest here on earth proud of me (for being the "brainiac" who helps us via the above idea), and work towards sharing my better and more godly findings w/ Mom. (And...working towards sharing includes calling her up just to see how she is and building a relationship, so I'd better wrap this up.) And learning self-discipline so I can thrive in close relationships & home relationships in a world where the "top 0.1%" succeed in buying and profiting on these oh-so-wrong things and hurting my consumption ability. (I should go finish those dishes I talked so big about.)

Over and out!

Tuesday, October 13

If Homelessness In Front Of Your Business Is Disturbing, Then...

Cool idea:

If the evidence of homelessness in front of your business or in your neighborhood is disturbing, then tell your senators and congressional representatives to readjust federal priorities for housing assistance.
-From "Stop punishing people with the sit-lie ordinance" at the Western Regional Advocacy Project

"The Unwillingness To Consider That Anyone Will Help Her"

I think about a friend, raised professional middle class with the solid safety net of well-off parents, and about the fear that creeps into her voice when she talks about saving for retirement - the unwillingness to consider that anyone will help her, the certainty that she is a failure if anyone does, the feeling that no matter how much money she saves from her large professional salary, it can never be enough.
Rothenberg describes her aging father, no longer able to care for himself, isolated from community but able to afford constant professional care, watched over at the end of his life by a rotating crew of nurses rather than by people who love him.
-From "Reflections, in progress." by tyrone at Enough.

It's really hard for me to take action based on tyrone's post. My mom, when I talk to her on the phone, helps keep me feeling this way--because I hear her feel that way and then I worry about my own retirement and how my saving is going, etc.

And I think, "Man, I've gotta share this stuff w/ my mom so we can move into a mindset of mutual care instead of separate saving."

Only then I get even MORE afraid of having to BE with my mom a lot.

She's hurtful enough to drive me up the f***ing wall and I don't think that will EVER change. Really. She gets more hurtful every year, despite the fact that I'm growing up and learning how to talk more politely about what she's doing.

And I WANT her to just...have money so I DON'T have to be burdened w/ being near her. I DON'T want to take care of her.

But that means writing myself out of knowing I would be cared for by her.
And I'm probably not going to nurture anyone else (like kids) younger than me, either. And with respect to my friends? I'm just...I am so not a loyal-type person. I'm not sure I'd make another bond w/ anyone as loyal as my mom is (loyal, in her own definitely-loyal-but-not-good-enough-for-me way) to me.
Keeping this way of thinking from Mom means keeping my own panic that I'll never have enough "for retirement."

So it's like...where the heck else to start besides this most loyal member of my whole family?

But who's a loyal person I don't actually WANT to engage with because her loyalty still doesn't provide me the emotional things I want?

It's very frustrating that I can't share the content of tyrone's post with my mom, and I just wanted to get that out.

Saturday, October 10

Talking About Sex

I thought of this guy because it was through hanging out with him that I stumbled upon a place to get a lot of exposure to very helpful sexual discussion.

But maybe if my campus newspaper had done what Towson University's campus newspaper did (by the way, I agree w/ SAFER, nice response, Towerlight), I wouldn't have missed out on such discussion even if I'd never met him!

Personal Musings On Perpetrator Accountability

I wonder if the former friend who hit me has changed his ways and has never again hit or thrown something at someone he's in an argument over an emotional subject with.

I got cautious in that friendship the first time--he was distraught he'd done it and said he had only hit someone one other time in his life (kindergarten)--so I was cautious but didn't break off the friendship 100%.

The second time, I did. No third chance. I'm really glad people all my life encouraged me to act that way over being hit if it ever happened. It did, and this was a good response for me.

But perpetrator accountability's been a theme in my thoughts lately:

One of my friends has shared her anger with me that the man who raped refused to acknowledge that he'd done ANYTHING wrong on the consent front AT ALL because he, well, didn't want to think of himself as having raped someone.

And the G20 protest had a passage in their sexual consent guidelines saying:

*We understand and respect that other communities have engaged in their own processes around these incidents. If you have gone through an accountability process and the survivor, joined by the community, feels you have sufficiently dealt with your shit, this statement does not include you.

And there's been a lot of talk on BFP's site and in Make/Shift Magazine and other places online and in print that I've been reading lately where the idea of perpetrators of violence holding themselves accountable comes up (even if just as the potential opposite of much more common unaccountability).

And I wonder if I don't need to give ****** the cold shoulder anymore, next time he pops into my life (he does every couple of years). I wonder if the consequence of a friend he hurt (me) giving him the cold shoulder for the remaining 3.5 years of college and at events where we ran into each other afterwards has had its intended effect of getting him to change his behavior.

I wonder if my warning that I wouldn't go around telling people what he did willy-nilly, but that I would do so if he hit a woman again (and that I'd do my damndest to make sure every woman at the school heard what he did to me (which we had seen could work--such an effort was underway over one of our classmates' behavior)), had its intended effect of getting him to change his behavior.

He's faced another terrible loss in his life since we finished college--a relative he was extremely attached to passed away, I heard. That kind of thing makes me wonder if he doesn't need any more external/social stimuli anymore to never do again what he did to me. It makes me wonder if he's "dealt with his shit." I had exposure to him for years and never got bad vibes from him or people close to him.

I wonder because although it's not like we're going to be buds again, relief from the cold shoulder and an "I'm really sorry--I witnessed your love for this person when we were friends, and I am so sorry to hear about this person's passing, *****" is something I would feel safe giving--if he's "dealt with his shit."

Otherwise, I think I oughtta let him find his emotional relief wherever it currently is and continue to embody a message of, "You do this, you lose friends."

I don't know how or when I'd find that out--until I do, I guess I'll leave up that wall. And...pray for God to send my portion of comfort to him anonymously but now, I guess.

Thursday, October 8

Being Indoctrinated Into A Machinery Of Death

Good quote (even if it does at the same time get this post one of my nastier tags):

Somehow, being indoctrinated into a machinery of death has a propensity for damaging people, physically and mentally, ruining their lives. Who would have thought it?
-Richard Seymour, Better Off On The Dole, Lenin's Tomb

Sunday, October 4

Vacation - Italy vs. Not Italy

If I could get the $ together, I really wanna go to Rome again, w/ my partner.

I'd said I was going to do something else for a vacation until Italy (as a government) treated its gypsies better (also, side note: despite that article's mention of crime, their violent crime rate is actually the exact same as their population proportion), and that I'd tell their ministry of tourism (or whatever they have) so...

...but I thought about that idea well over a year ago and I still haven't gotten around to sending that letter to their ministry of tourism, so I haven't done one lick of good...

...and the "I wanna see Rome again" bug is really hitting me hard as my vacation time draws near.

And if I could get the $ together, I mean, how kick-ass would the following trip be:
- Hiking at sunrise in the Lake District of England on the same hill my stupid roommates didn't wake me up to hike w/ the rest of the group at sunrise
- Visit my many friends / his 2 friends in France
- Get my partner a few artistic master classes w/ his idol in France if said idol is open to teaching him
- RomeRomeRomeRomeRomeRomeAwesomeRome fuck yes gelato cheap olive oil a-whole-lox&caviar-pizza-for-$10 holy crap cool buildings and stuff everywhere even if a dictator did destroy lots of other cool buildings to unearth them rabbit-ragout-at-this-one-cool-restaurant GELAFUCKINGTO
- The one limoncello I actually liked (house version at a hotel outside Naples)
- Greece - whatever my partner's favorite parts were
(Though I guess that "Lake District" part and the "Rome" part don't exactly go together, since in my dreams, I'd totally be hiking in the summer and visiting Rome in the winter. Hmmmmm.)

Oh yeah. After looking up this link, I saw a photo that reminded me that France is kind of on my shit list, too. Though at least I have friends there--it's not quite straight-up tourism the way a trip to Italy would be. Not that the United States doesn't do the same things--but I can't exactly tell an American tourism bureau that I'm not coming. I already live here.

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